True phimosis is overdiagnosed due to the failure to distinguish it from physiological phimosis, which is a normal developmental non retractability of the foreskin. The non-retractile prepuce in children is a cause of parental anxiety and concern. This leads to the majority of the children undergoing surgical procedures. Pathological phimosis needs to be differentiated from physiologic phimosis to avoid unnecessary circumcision. In recent years, topical steroid application use in cases of non-retractile prepuce has shown a good success rate and is well accepted by the parents. It has low risks, is cost effective and avoids anaesthetic and surgical complications. This is an observational study of 100 children with non-retractile foreskin who were managed by local application of topical steroid cream (0.1% Mometasone) over a period of 6 weeks. The non-retractibility was classified according to Kikiro's classification. These patients were analyzed on the basis of age at presentation, complaints at the first presentation, grade of phimosis at first presentation (as per Kikiro's classification), results of the topical steroid application as assessed at 6 weeks after starting application and after stopping of the steroid administered for 6 weeks. The results were analyzed on the basis of the resolution of symptoms and the decrease in Kikiro's grade. Those patients in whom there was no response to treatment or who developed recurrence after stopping steroid treatment underwent circumcision. A total of 19 patients required surgical intervention in the form of circumcision. The use of topical steroids yields satisfactory results in patients with a non-retractile prepuce. It could be a first-line treatment for management in such cases and is an effective alternative designed to avoid unnecessary circumcision.
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